On our fourth morning of having no school due to Coronavirus, I woke up extra early in hopes of getting some work done for a graduate class I’m currently taking. Prior to the outbreak, my usual routine would be to stay up late and do my work while the house was quiet. Since schools have been closed, I flipped it and have been doing my reading and writing before the kids wake up.
We’ve been following a daily schedule that I found posted by a trusted colleague on social media and it has been working in the sense of giving our family a sense of purpose during the day. I’ve been sharing pics from our time outside with followers on social media just to spread the word and connect with other friends and families, as we are all in this together.
So this morning, I found myself doing something strangely familiar….
Instead of reading the largely bad news in the news about the spread of the coronavirus, as a kind of warm up while the coffee was brewing, I started with checking email from work. I was very happy to find this week’s edition of The Marshall Memo waiting for me. This is a wonderful resource for busy educators to help keep connected to trends and research in the field. This week it focused on educational resources for educators who are also parents! After three days of being teacher-in-chief of my own kids–first, fifth and seventh graders–I began to feel like I was ignoring my own experience as a professional educator. I found myself wanting to offer them more personalized tasks to complete during our academic time on the daily schedule. The Marshall Memo was a treasure trove. This will help compliment the wonderful resources being sent home from their schools. Both principals–in addition to our superintendent–have communicated frequently this week in genuine attempts to help keep parents in the loop and hopefully keep the kids connected to their schools. Just knowing that teachers and school leaders are still there for my kids puts me at ease. While there is no way to replicate what happens in school, it’s great when I see my older kids checking google classroom and reading messages from their teachers. Having teachers continuing to be a presence in my kids’ lives helps me as the keeper of the home schedule to motivate my kids to do academic work for a few hours a day.
As the news comes out daily and the restrictions become more severe in response, parents may feel overwhelmed at times. That is what is driving me to wake up early to plan out the activities for the day! Be sure to do something together each day. On rainy days it is even more of a challenge for us, but we found some free yoga lessons on TV that we have been doing as a family and doing yoga together has become fun and something we all look forward to doing. On days with better weather, we go out for long walks together a couple times a day. Now that we are no longer allowed to visit local playgrounds or playing fields, we have discovered trails managed by Mass DCR and Mass Audubon Society. To get out into the woods, to listen to the sounds of nature, and to see how the signs of rebirth and renewal in nature are very the perfect antidote for the uncertainty and worry that is all around us.
As we distance ourselves socially from our friends and colleagues, let’s take stock in the blessings we have in front of us. Rather than focus on all the things we cannot do in these challenging times, let’s focus on what we have right in front of us. Let’s show them how to enjoy spending time together, how to keep a positive attitude, how to be curious, how to build resiliency in mind and body, and how to live in the moment.
I would love to hear from you with your thoughts about this post.